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The Goldilocks of Data Storage: Finding the Solution That’s Just Right for your Business

Allen Rivera, Solutions Architect

August 10, 2021  |  Data Center  •  IT Modernization  •  Managed Services


When you run a business or federal agency, having a good handle on your data storage as debatably as important to your success as having good finances, people or processes. You want enough storage to be able to hold all your business’s data but not too much that you are wasting space and money. You want the correct type of storage so that the appropriate information can be accessed when you need it but the flexibility to store different types of data as they arise. You may be feeling a little like the infamous Goldilocks and her three bears: you need the data storage solution that is just right for your organization – not too much, not too little but right in the middle.

Let’s start with why you need data storage. Why is it so important? Although advances have been made in computer memory (the ability to recall the inputted data at a later time), they are still limited by cost, space and memory retention. When a computer powers down, so does the RAM’s ability to retain that inputted data. The solution? Data storage. Data storage is the collection and retention of digital information—the bits and bytes behind applications, network protocols, documents, media, address books, user preferences, and more. Data storage refers to the use of recording media to retain data using computers or other devices. The most prevalent forms of data storage are file storage, block storage, and object storage, with each being ideal for different purposes. With so many options out there today, where do you start?

Here are some questions to begin your data storage solution journey to determine which data solution is right for your business:

Applications

What kind of applications do you have? How many do you have? What you want to do with them? What do they do? Start with answering questions around your applications so that you know what you’re working with because the information coming and going from these applications will determine a lot about which data solution your business needs.

Growth

What kind of growth are you projecting for your business? This question is important because you’ll want to have spare storage as your business grows. Think of it as anticipating your toddler not being the same size five years from now, they will grow and need bigger clothes. This is similar to your data storage so ensure to incorporate a way to grow your storage so you don’t run out and struggle to solve an issue that could have been prevented in the beginning. In the government world, the trend of data storage is growing because imagery storage is becoming more important to mission accomplishment (think intelligence agencies that work with Google images, for example). In a commercial business world, as your organization grows you will want the ability to store customer data and add product details (for example, retail stores growing their inventory as their business scales).

Type of Data

What type of data do you have? Unstructured or structured? Images files? Extensive databases? Do you have personal identifiable information (PII)? The type of data you have is essential to determining what kind of data storage you need. Some organizations are required by law to keep access to data for a certain amount of years. Other organizations need their storage to be archived, not necessarily to edit or change but to retain for certification. Still other organizations use their data storage as disaster recovery plans should anything unforeseen happen in today’s age of cyber attacks.

Budget

What is your budget? Is it flexible? Will it change in the near future? While this is understandably a critical question, it is one that will behoove you to ensure your reality matches your budget. You may want the biggest, most encompassing, most powerful data storage solution out there but only have the budget for your third or fourth preference. Involving a third party organization experienced in data storage solutions to assist you in matching your budget with the appropriate available option may be worth considering.

Business goals

An important question to keep in mind throughout this entire process is: what are your priorities for that data? What kind of access do you need to conduct business? Will your data need modification? What is your business usage? How much data loss is acceptable? This last question can seem alarming but as companies change and grow – especially in today’s age of cyber threats – a business that is prepared and can handle a certain amount of data loss will prove to be most resilient.

After you’ve answered these questions, determining which data storage solution that is just right for your business will be much simpler.  Dell Technologies is a leading, global software company with an entire portfolio of data storage products manufactured from years of industry knowledge. Knowing that different businesses have different needs, Dell empowers IT teams, allowing them to harness the power of data and achieve peace of mind by offering a path to accomplishing business goals. Here are three Dell data storage options broken out by capability to match any size of business.

Enterprise

  • PowerMax and PowerFlex – these solutions are powerful enough to encompass storage across the enterprise. They keep high level storage, resource intensive workloads, and can easily handle pentabytes of data. Customers choose these solutions for their scalability, security and extensive VMware integration.

Mid-sized

  • PowerStore – still powerful but much more affordable for businesses that aren’t huge corporations. Built from the ground up with next-generation storage technology, PowerStore helps make your business more agile and prepared for change by operating at both data center and edge locations.

Small business

  • Unity Array platform – Dell’s Unity family offers simplicity in their all-flash models. This approach supports today’s digital transformation with cloud-native applications and provides smaller businesses with the flexibility and speed their need to conduct their day-to-day operations. Dell has several models that scale according to each organization’s requirements and comes with the performance and reputation that has made Dell famous.

By answering these questions and choosing a Goldilocks data storage solution that is just right, you can easily implement a data storage solution that will serve your business goals for years to come. Intuitively, as organizations scale and get larger, determining these needs and selecting a solution gets more complex which is why some organizations choose companies like Iron Bow to assist with this analysis and selection. To learn how Iron Bow can help your organization, feel free to read about our services


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